Breed: Pit bull
Encountered: In a parking lot in Cave Creek, Arizona, where her owner sells cowboy hats at a roadside stand.
Backstory: Everyday, Michael Chazan, of Phoenix, sets up his tables on a dusty parking lot and hawks hats from Guatemala. At first, he would bring his daughter’s dog with him — partly for company, partly because, he’s found, dogs can help bring in business.
When she moved away, he debated whether he should bring along his dog, Sarah, who he’s had since she was a pup. While amazingly and unwaveringly friendly, she is a pit bull, and while he knows she’s a sweetheart, some customers, he feared, might shy away.
He gave it a try anyway, and Sarah proved to be as good for business as she is at being a friend.
I had no choice but to go over and say hello. And now — though I’m not the cowboy hat type — I’m wearing a cowboy hat.
Michael says Sarah is good at luring in customers, and while he sometimes tells customers that his dog will eat them if they don’t buy the hat they tried on, one look at Sarah’s smiling face lets them know, if they didn’t already, that it’s a joke.
He, as is usually his way with assertive females, all but ignored her.
I, on the other hand was smitten — and not just because we both have big heads. It was her sweet disposition that hooked me, reeled me in and sealed the sale, with a big sloppy lick.
(To see all of our Roadside Encounters, click here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, attracting, breeds, business, cowboy, customers, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, encounter, hats, misperceptions, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, roadside stand, sales, salesman, sarah, stereotypes, travel, travels with ace, vendor
With the rescue of pit bulls and other abused and neglected pets having proven a popular reality TV show formula — with everything from burly tattooed guys to prison parolees doing the rescuing — you might be wondering what they’ll think of next.
Turns out they’ve already thought of it, and it’s little people.
“Pit Boss” premieres January 16, starring Shorty Rossi, who runs a Hollywood talent agency for little people and a pit bull rescue.
The show features Rossi and his fellow little people — including Maryland’s own Ashley Brooks — as they rescue and rehabilitate what the show’s press material points out is a frequently looked down upon breed.
Brooks, 23, who was raised in Elkton, Md., is the receptionist for Shortywood Productions, the company Rossi formed to “manage little people entertainers for all types of shows, private parties and corporate events,” according to a network press release.
Its staff also forms the nucleus of Shorty’s Pit Bull Rescue, which was formed in 2001 and has worked since then to rehabilitate pit bulls — both individual dogs and the breed’s image.
“Pit bulls have a bad rap, though they don’t deserve it at all,” says Rossi. “It’s what people have done to these pits or how they have trained them that caused this horrible misperception. Pit bulls are beautiful and energetic dogs that make wonderful companions and have the ability to bring out the best in just about any one – the elderly, children, the handicapped, and yes… even the little people of this world.”
“Pit Boss” follows Rossi and his crew as they rescue, rehabilitate and find homes for dogs, all while working to fight stereotypes — both those faced by pit bulls and those faced by little people.
The show will air Saturdays at 10 p.m on Animal Planet.
Rossi, 35, grew up in Los Angeles, and pit bulls have been part of his life since 14. He left home by the age of 15, and by 18 had been involved in a gang-related shooting and convicted of several felonies. He served 10 years in prison, and upon his release turned to entertainment jobs, landing his first role at Universal Studios Hollywood as “Alvin” for an Alvin and the Chipmunks stage show.
Since then, he has appeared in several commercials, dozens of TV shows and worked on several movies. He started his own company in 2000, and formed Shorty’s Pit Bull Rescue the following year.
Here’s a trailer for the show:
(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal planet, ashley brooks, dogs, image, little people, misperceptions, perceptions, pit boss, pit bulls, pitbulls, rehabilitate, reputation, rescue, shorty rossi, shorty's pit bull rescue, shortywood, stereotypes, television, trailer, tv, video